Body of Missing Fresno Teen Found Buried in Yard - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Police Discover Buried Body of Missing Fresno Teen

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FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -

A missing person's case may turn into a murder investigation after police uncover the body of a missing Fresno teen.

Police said the remains of a teenage boy were found buried Tuesday in the backyard of a southeast Fresno home on South Dearing Avenue.

Fresno Police Lt. Mark Salazar said a tip led investigators to the home.

Homicide detectives and The California Department of Justice began digging early Tuesday morning.

Salazar said the teen's body was discovered several hours later.

Police have yet to identify the teen, but the family of Steven Humphrey, a 15-year-old Fresno teen missing since 2009, strongly believes the remains are his.  

"We have for the most part known where it's been for a few years now and no action has really been taken until now," said Ben Essman, a cousin of Humphrey's.

Grief stricken, Essman said the family has been desperate for answers and hopes Tuesday's discovery will bring the family one step closer to the closer they've longed for.

Essman said the family has always suspected the Steven met his fate inside the house and was murdered and then buried on the property.

Emily Essman, another cousin of Humphrey's, said she didn't think Steven knew his life was in danger.

"When he went over there he didn't think anything was going to happen to him."

While police have deemed the death suspicious, Salazar said no arrests have been made yet in connection with the teen's death.

Humphrey's family said they don't need official police confirmation. They're certain they already know the answer.

"It's just nerve racking," Emily Essman said. "There's nothing we can do about it but wait."

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